- The New York Sun reported on Tuesday that ex-Governor Eliot Spitzer is pitching a plan to start a so-called vulture real estate fund, which would scoop up distressed real estate assets around the country, revamp them, and flip the properties for a profit.
When Spitzer resigned in disgrace three months ago this week, he told the assembled press:
As I leave public life, I will first do what I need to do to help and heal myself and my family. Then I will try once again, outside of politics, to serve the common good and to move toward the ideals and solutions which I believe can build a future of hope and opportunity for us and for our children. [NY Times]Somehow, the concept of buying properties at fire sale prices from those bearing the brunt of the current mortgage crisis, thus exploiting their woes for his own financial gain, doesn't quite fit my definition of "the common good."
But even better, Sun reporter Jacob Gershman also informs us that Spitzer has told friends that he is consoled by passersby who stop him on the city sidewalks and tell him that sex is "no big deal..." That's a conversation I'd like to hear.
Europeans, the former governor has noted, have been especially supportive of him and perplexed by the fallout from the scandal.Oh man...
While waiting to get out of the parking lot on Saturday, which took around a half hour, I heard Spitzer's successor on the FAN. I'd heard that he's an occasional caller on the sports talk station and a big Mets fan. Governor Paterson was quite outspoken about what he feels is a lack of leadership on the part of the club's manager Willie Randolph. But we didn't find out what he thinks about NYCOTB, nor get any insight on the selection of a racino operator.
The legislative session ends on June 23, and there's no sign of a resolution of either of those. That's just eight more working days for Senators and Assemblymen to themselves serve the common good. 1,500 OTB employees face imminent layoffs, and Mayor Bloomberg warned on Tuesday that time is growing short.
"I don't want to be a pessimist, but at the moment, our plan is Sunday will be the last day OTB is open in New York City," he said of the 38-year-old operation. "New York City is not going to lay off one cop, one firefighter or one teacher so that we can support a bookie operation." [Newsday]A gubernatorial bid is amongst the possibilities being discussed for Mayor Mike once his second and supposedly final term ends next year. Spitzer and Paterson may be apathetic towards the industry; Bloomberg, who made his fortune helping Wall Street book its own kind of bets, is downright hostile.
We of course have no clue what's going on behind the closed doors. But perhaps the opposition by horsemen, NYRA, and, most likely, the other politically connected regional OTB's are holding up the plan that had been floated last week. Besides, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, in the middle of matters as usual as the Chairman of the Committee on Racing and Wagering, called Bloomberg out last week, accusing the mayor of exaggerating OTB's shortfalls, and adding: “I don’t believe the city is negotiating in good faith." [Bloodhorse]
In fact, there's not much of anything getting accomplished in Albany, prompting one Senator to pronounce: "We need a giant AED (a defibrillator) sent down to the Assembly and the Senate. Something has to resuscitate the process here." [Rochester Democrat and Chronicle] Paterson was criticized by one reform group last week for abandoning the Spitzer steamroller on which he was elected as the former governor's running mate. However, the governor has submitted a wide range of worthy bills that have not been acted upon, including a property tax cap which is now apparently dead.
Only five of the 18 bills he has sent to the Legislature since he took office on March 17 have been approved, according to his office. And the ones that were approved dealt mainly with budgetary issues.